If there is one truism from the practices of law which translates to the practice of compliance it is that you are only limited by your own imagination. This holds true in the 360-degree realm of communication in compliance, as communications obviously comes in many forms. Many compliance practitioners will well remember the 2012 Morgan Stanley declination. In this first declination made public, the DOJ recognized Morgan Stanley for emailing out 35 compliance reminders to Garth Peterson over seven years. Think about the power of 360-degrees of communications in the context of compliance reminders. Now imagine the power of short ethics and compliance video training clips going out over the same period of time and the effect it would have both on your employees and the regulators.

Marc Havener, founder and CEO of Resonate Pictures, Inc., created a series of video shorts for a consulting company on compliance and ethics. Rather than the traditional legal approach of telling employees about the corporate policy on compliance, they wanted to tell a story about compliance through the art of movie-based storytelling that wove messaging into characters to tell a story.

I have urged compliance practitioners to bring more storytelling into their compliance messaging. If you put the employee in the shoes of the person they’re watching, they will remember it, because they will see how it applies to their lives. Havener noted the training experience will last “exponentially longer than if you just go over a written policy or show a PowerPoint”. He called it “expanding your classroom”. The next time they see George Clooney they’re going to remember the training, the next time they watch that movie that you showed a clip from they’re going to be reminded of the training and so it becomes a great drift method of training.”

Three key takeaways:

  1. Storytelling is another form of communication.
  2. Movie clips in compliance training can provide useful touchstones that employees can relate to for compliance lessons.
  3. The Morgan Stanley declination gave credit for annual compliance reminders.